Public transportation and home's valueTopic: Home buying
Just few years ago people in many suburban areas were preferring to drive further out away from their jobs in order to find more affordable homes. This trend is now starting to reverse for many reasons some of which we will touch on in this article. As families moved further and further into the suburbs and what are now called exurbs (areas more than a 30 minute drive from city centers) they found themselves becoming more and more dependent on their cars and a rural road system to get around. In the early and mid stages of this migration this was not a large problem, because after all gas was cheap and there was the promise from local governments that as the are's population increased the road systems would be expanded and improved. Later in the migration to the far outlying suburbs families began to realize that the road systems in their areas were likely never going to be expanded to the point of being able to keep up with the traffic demands placed on them. There was the costs involved in expanding those roads as well as the not in my back yard syndrome from families who would then own homes along 4 lane high ways.
Starting in late 2005 with gas prices close to $3 a gallon and many of the families highly dependent on their gas gulping SUV's many of these families really started to feel the pain of living so far out from the many things they need to do. Not only did these people have to sit in traffic for long periods of time, now in many cases it was costing near $75 every time they filled their gas tanks. What to do, many of these people thought. The trend now seems to have shifted in many metro areas.
Families now seem to be taking into consideration, public transportation options such as train lines and bus lines when they consider what home to buy. In 2007 it became apparent that something was really up, in some metro areas home prices bucked the state wide averages and did much better. For example while the average home in New Jersey lost 14% of its value in 2007, in some of the towns which had good public transportation options, the average home price actually went up slightly. That is a huge difference in performance!!
Many experts agree that the trend of families moving to towns which are closer in to the city centers and to towns that have good public transportation options will continue into the foreseeable future. This trend will likely help home price appreciation in these towns as well. In many cases homes likely will appreciate faster in these types of towns then in towns just a few miles away which do not have the same transportation options. To be sure, there are other factors such as school quality, environmental quality's, the crime rates in different areas and so forth, that you should consider as well.
Pay attention to the transportation options while buying your new house no less than schools, environment or crime situation.